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Tecmas sets the bar very high


When winning, for the second consecutive year, the Superbike French championship with Kenny Foray and signing a victory historical and as well prestigious at the 24 Hours of the Mans for it’s the first coming up in Superstock category, the Tecmas Racing Team did set the bar very high in 2023. It will be difficult to do better in 2024, but not impossible said Arnaud Sassone who, still being humble, does not lack of ambition: “This is true that the last season will remain in the annals but we are competitors and our target is, of course, to excel. The targets are clear: “for Superbike, and this is a priority for our official partners BMW and Michelin,

The pass of three for Kenny Foray

A hell of a challenge! With a consecutive third title, in fact its forth after the one already obtained with Tecmas in 2017, Kenny Foray would be in the in the FSKB Grégory Leblanc (2013, 2014 and 2015) and Mathieu Gines (2019, 2020 and 2021). “We are going to do everything and try to keep this Superbike title. It’s the priority of the priorities for 2024. It puts a lot of pressure on the staff and the pilot. In order to have the best chances to do so, to start off with, it is necessary to avoid the famous “black cat” moment of the opening race of these last two years at the Mans. Wait and, even, bet on the last race to win the title like these last two years, no doubt this is great for the show and the championship interest, but really nervously exhausting…”. Because, as a matter of fact, it obligates a crazy chase race without being certain to pick up the conceded handicap at the beginning of the season. And, when you have in front of you some competitors with experience and talent as Mike Di Meglio, Alan Techer, Mathieu Gines or Greg Leblanc, the task is more than arduous. “We are well prepared. And even if there are sometimes things that you hardly handle, I think that we are ready for Le Mans. Since, we got the moto early enough, we have been able to multiply the tests, in Spain and in France, and the trials have been very satisfying.” Says the boss. The new BMW M1000 RR has not been technologically updated compared to the one in 2023, this is also an advantage for Kenny Foray who knows this machine better than anybody else. “We are not going nowhere. We know all the circuits the moto is mastered and we should be competitive within the first meeting in the Sarthe”.

Loïc Arbel also in Superbike

The big news for Tecmas in FSBK will be to be able to produce an” house maid” pilot capable to target rather regularly the Top 5 and the challengers title (reserved to those less than 28 years old) with Loïc Arbel. “Loïc is a very good recruit for the FSBK and I am very happy that he did trust us for it’s going from 600 to 1.000 cc. the last year, he finished 3rd at the championship 600 Supersport and, we know that he is fast. Already, in 2023, he was with us in Endurance on the BMW1000, this gave us the opportunity to see lots of qualities in him. Loïc wanted to go with a complete program, speed and endurance in2024. We were able to find a solution so that he could integrate the BMW big family program in FSBK” enjoys Arnaud Sassone, persuaded that Loïc Arbel is a future nugget of the French speed.

Find a solution was necessary since the risk was there to see Loïc joining another team which would have been badly received for Tecmas in Endurance. Now, the Bourges team will attack the FIM World Championship with the same trio of pilots, very homogenous and complementary, pilots also knowing perfectly the M1000 RR, which is always an advantage.

In the track of it’s leader Kenny Foray, Loïc Arbel will look for the Superbike Top 5. And, if, he could take few points to the direct champions in competition with the champion French titled, this would be a “plus”. “In fact, the target for Loïc will be the title in challengers (reserved to those less than 28 years old, Editor’s note). He knows the tracks, he can handle the moto, he already has a good experience. Even within this high context, it’s playable”. Estimate the boss prior to remind that the last title of a Tecmas pilot in Challengers go back up to 2019 with Maxime Bonnot.

Lucas Sassone, the rookie

Christian ragot

The rookie Lucas Sassone, 21 years old, will be the third pilot Tecmas engaged in Superbike. After his serious accident last year at Lédenon in the European Bikes (notably fracture of the pelvis) and 2023 a year during which he did not drive much, Lucas has decided to pass a gap when going in Superbike. “He knows that the step is high, that it is going to be complicated but he wanted to drive with pilots faster, more professionals, to avoid the type of accident he had at Lédenon with a gentleman driver pilot benefitting of a wild-card. Physically, he has recovered and does not seem to have any sequels as proven during the winter’s trials in Spain…” explain his father boss. The target, for Lucas, will be to finish the races, to continue to progress and to mark some points at the challenger’s classification on a BMW and the tracks he knows well.

Tecmas will also be represented in European Bikes with Antoine Chapeau from Nevers. He will discover the “1000” with the ambitions of the Top 5 and Franck Felipe who will start his second season with the Bourges’ team.

Tecmas half official BMW in Endurance

If the FBKS is a priority for Tecmas, the Endurance is in also. The prestigious victory at the 24 Hours of the Mans, for the first coming out of the team in Superstock, has sharpened the hunger and each of them, somewhere in a small part of their mind, keeps the idea that it was completely possible to win the FIM World Cup from the first year. “We really are confident” confirm Arnaud Sassone. “We proved last season that we could go and obtain this title. The performance was there together with the strategy. We only missed the reliability at Spa and at the Bol d’Or where we had each time signed for the pole position and the best turn in the race”

Tecmas will still have a lot of argumentations to put ahead for 2024. Same moto so, same trio of pilots with Kenny Foray, Loïc Arbel and the German Jan Bühn and moreover, “the status of semi-official which means a financial support from BMW Germany. In the same time, concerning the logistic, mutualization of the parts and even of the human side, we will have again the support from the official team MRP of Werner Daemen engaged in EWC” specify Arnaud Sassone.

Therefore, it remains for the Tecmas team and for BMW to find the reliability. “The moto is the same that the one used last year. We worked this Winter on some new small tricks, especially concerning the kickstand to gain time on the refueling. As far as the motor is concerned, BMW in Germany worked a lot on the reliability by, for instance, opting for a different assembling process and, this, should pay back” says Arnaud Sassone. It was necessary as, after the Mans victory, to break down at Spa and at the Castellet not even after one hour on the track, without any alert, without any tiny overspeed it was so disappointing since the n°9 was, and far above, the most performing Superstock on the stage. This disappointment is without doubt not completely forgotten. “It’s especially at the Bol that we got a big knock on the head as Loris Baz, a worldwide known pilot, had trusted us to replace Jan (Bühn) wounded at the last minute. He did not even make one turn and …Pfff. We were all very excited to see him on our moto, but it has been a wet firecracker. We all worked tremendously to avoid having to live this again. A 24 hours race, this is very long, exhausting not only for the men but also for the mechanics. There are also the hazards of the race, but to break down so early, this is not acceptable. This is not even a reliability problem as one can expect in the Endurance. On a 24 hours race, the lack of reliability, this is a break after eighteen or twenty-hours race. Here, in our case, it was something else …”

To win the world Cup FIM

That said, the Bourges team is optimistic: I know that BMW has worked a lot on the engine to secure all these problems. On the pilots’ side, we change nothing and that is an asset, even if one can regret that Jan Bühn does not have a more complete program. The moto is efficient and the leitmotiv is clearly to win the World Cup FIM. The rule has changed this year, the Stock counting as points at Suzuka. Consequently, four races are enlisted at the calendar (Le Mans, Spas, Suzuka, Le Castellet) but for the final classification, only the three best results will count. If everything goes well at Le Mans and at Spa, we could, therefore, avoid the Suzuka which would, clearly, arrange us well on a financial point of view since we do not get any financial support from the financer, neither from the promotor, nor the FIM, nor the televisions. But in the case, we would have burnt a jocker at Le Mans or in Belgium, it would then be necessary to go to Japan, even with a very smaller group. We are anticipating this with the help of our partners.”

The other novelty of this 2024 championship stands in the length of the races. Only two of 24 hours at Le Mans and at the Bol, and two of 8 hours at Spa and at Suzuka versus three of 24 hours in 2023. “This is rather an advantage if we keep the same pace than during the last season. On 8 hours race, one does not need to be playing on the timing, hoping a motor breakdown, a flat tire or a run out the track of one of our competitors. On 8 hours run, this is necessary to be immediately in the pace and move on and, that, we know how to do it. Moreover, financially, it’s also economical especially in gas and pneumatics…”.

So, see you at Le Mans next April 20th and 21st. for a remake of 2023?

Text : Christian Ragot
English translation: Josette Borne
Photos : Stéphane Valembois

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Le championnat de France de vitesse moto le plus spectaculaire, le Superbike, est de retour ce week-end sur le circuit Bugatti du Mans.


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Titré, pour la troisième fois (2017, 2022, 2023), dès la première course, hier sur le circuit du Castellet, Kenny Foray a mis un point d’honneur à remporter la course 2 avec panache.


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La n°9 tournait comme une horloge quand le speaker l’annonçait arrêtée juste avant le virage de la Sainte-Beaume. Il était 15h36. Dix-huit minutes plus tard, Kenny, épuisé, avait ramené la moto au stand à la poussette. Le diagnostic était ultra-rapide : casse moteur.


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Alors qu’il reste sur cinq victoires en six courses, le pilote de l’écurie berruyère Tecmas-BMW, Kenny Foray, sera encore l’homme à battre ce week-end sur le circuit de Carole. Objectif : reprendre la première place au championnat avant le dernier round au Castellet.


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Alors qu’il reste sur trois victoires lors des quatre dernières courses, Kenny Foray (Tecmas-BMW) revêtira à nouveau le cuir de favori ce week-end sur le circuit de Pau Arnos.


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Kenny Foray a soufflé le froid (chute en course 1) puis le chaud (victoire après une fantastique remontada en C2) à Magny-Cours où le « pigiste de luxe » Christophe Ponsson a justifié la confiance accordée par le team Tecmas en montant à deux reprises sur le podium.


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Abandon à 2 heures du matin

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Un problème mécanique a ruiné les espoirs de victoire du team Tecmas, pourtant au-dessus de la concurrence en Superstock, lors des 24 Heures de Spa. Rien n’est perdu pour la Coupe du monde mais il faudra, comme lors des 24 Heures du Mans, faire le plein de points au Bol d’Or en septembre. 

SVA_EWC23_20230617_221744-5-Avec accentuation-Bruit_2048px.jpg

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La victoire de Tecmas aux 24 Heures du Mans, a eu un joli retentissement. Mais c’est aussi et surtout parce que Kenny Foray a été sacré champion de France de Superbike l’année dernière avec Tecmas, team officiel BMW et Michelin, qu’Arnaud Sassone et son champion de pilote ont été invités par le patron de Michelin Chine à Taïwan. 


Foray retrouve le podium

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Le public de Nogaro s’est régalé comme rarement en championnat de France de Superbike. Un spectacle total dans les deux courses. Avec des pilotes de grand talent au service de teams de plus en plus professionnels, parfaitement organisés et dotés d’un matériel, motos et pneumatiques, ultra-performants. Voilà qui promet pour la suite de la saison. 


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Les fans vont être gâtés, ce week-end à Nogaro pour le deuxième round du championnat de France FSBK. Ceux qui n’ont pu assister aux 24 Heures du Mans auront ainsi droit à une petite séance de rattrapage pour rendre hommage aux pilotes


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En optant pour la catégorie Superstock en association avec le MRP Racing Team de Werner Daemen, Arnaud Sassone, le nouveau patron de Tecmas-BMW a fait le bon choix. Au terme d’une course solide, Kenny Foray, Jan Bühn et Loïc Arbel se sont imposés, au guidon de la n°9, dans la catégorie, terminant 8e au scratch.


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Un peu galère les essais qualificatifs de la 46e édition des 24 Heures du Mans, course d’ouverture du championnat du monde d’Endurance. Une météo plus que capricieuse a considérablement accru la tâche des pilotes et des teams. 


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